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(Post Link) post #1 of 253 Old 01-10-13 Thread Starter
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Any gossip on new, bigger models?

So I currently drive a Giulietta, which still brings a smile to my face every morning (especially with the Savali exhausts).

However, as always, I am already thinking options for a possible next car. Now I know I will be able to go one class bigger (I drive a company car, luckily the boss is a petrol-head too).

For the Giulietta, I chose from the obligatory BMW 1, Audi A3, etc class. The next car will be one class up, so the BMW 3, Audi A4 class. Since those two cars are as boring as they come (sure, they might be good, solid, etc, but no emotion whatsoever), I hope I can choose something with more emotion. This choice will be in about three years, so I have plenty o' time.

Now since it's always nice to dream about new cars, is there any news, info on an upcoming Alfa model above the Giulietta? I've heard something about a Giulia?
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Giulia is coming soon but no idea when. Probably at least a year from now before we hear anything about it. Then there will be a big saloon based on the new Maserati but i wouldn't be surprised if this one never surfaced.
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Well reading this months auto express they claim alfa will be releasing the 159 replacement, the giulia and giulia sportwagon early 2014 along with a planned Alfa SUV, with a 169 (BMW5 series equivalent) planned sometime later. However I believe this only when I see it as the head of Fiat some guy called Marchionne says different things and changes his mind as often as my wife changes shoes!
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From reading lots of the rumours around Alfa, here's my summary.

There are five models that have been mentioned as in development. All, bar one, are bigger than Giulietta:

1. Compact SUV (X3 or Q3 sized, based on 2014 Jeep Cherokee)
2. Ghibli-based 169 replacement (5-Series, E-Class, A6 size)
3. Giulia (3-Series, C-Class, A4 size)
4. Giulia Sportwagon
5. New Spider, co-developed with Mazda MX-5

(4C is already being delivered, so that's not a "future" model).

The only public dates are from the investor presentations, which just said:

Early 2014: two models
2015: Spider plus two other models

No presentation has ever said which car was to come when, but it was taken to mean 2014 for both Giulia versions, and 2015 for SUV, 169, Spider. Spider is fixed at 2015, because that's Mazda's announced date too. (the dealer who confirmed the details of the Giulietta facelift way back in January also said that Giulia would be a 2014 launch, but things could have changed since then)

Since then, there is a persistent rumour that Giulia and the 169 have swapped places, and that the bigger car will launch in 2014, but the Giulia sisters will be delayed for another year and launch in 2015.

In terms of drivetrains, Giulia was originally planned as Front-wheel drive with 4x4 as option (based on a further-extended version of the architecture used for the Dodge Dart), the SUV was Front/4x4 on the same architecture (already used in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee), and Spider and Ghibli/169 will be both Rear-wheel drive.

However, rumours coming from inside Chrysler say that a compact Rear-wheel drive design has been developed for use by both Alfa Romeo and a future Dodge Avenger (a car that itself had been marked to be discontinued in 2014 and not replaced). This design would be used for the Alfa Giulia, which, if the rumour was true, would make Giulia Alfa's first RWD saloon since the 1980s (unless the 169/Ghibli gets there first)

Such a development would mean that all Alfas above the Giulietta would be RWD, which is something that Marchionne has stated would be his "ideal situation" for as long as he's been running FIAT.

New engines were to be developed with technical assistance from Ferrari. Most likely this would mean a new V6 petrol, above the 1750. The new Maserati V6 will most likely not see the inside of an Alfa: it's almost entirely hand made, and would be too expensive for the volume that Alfa would need (the V6 would be the entry engine in the USA).
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Kris , do you have any better sources than the rest of us then?
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No. I'm not even in the same industry. That's just a guess based on the various investor briefings, plus rumours that I've read that seem credible. The exact dates, and the Giulia being RWD are the most unreliable bits.
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You'd think with lead times there'd be something visible of the Giulia . There would be some extended Giulietta muletto around other than the jeep effect ones. There's a limit to testing "on the tube"
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I don't know.. FIAT are renowned for their use of computer simulation during development: you only see mules when a design is almost ready to go: Giulietta was launched at Geneva 2010 but it wasn't seen in the metal until late November 2009, and even that was a leaked photo of fully-finished cars in the factory.

The one thing you can't simulate, though, is extreme-weather testing, so that needs a car to be outside where it can be photographed. Hot testing is easy to do in privacy as deserts are usually, well, deserted, but winter testing is only done in a few places, and there are photographers everywhere around them. Going back to Giulietta, the car was spied in winter testing by January 2010.

Historically, Arjeplog in northern Sweden is FIAT's favourite spot (as well as nearly every other EU carmaker's), although they may "borrow" Chrysler's facilities in northern Michigan for a bit more privacy.

But a good rule is that if you don't see a bigger Alfa doing winter testing before Spring 2014, then the car just isn't coming in 2014.
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German media reports from the 4C launch indicate that the Spider will be Alfa's next model. And that's expected in late 2015. :-/
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As Kris says, they're not known for physical test mules in the early stages, but a lack of anything that looks like it could be a Giulia and the continued rumours regarding front or rear wheel drive, suggests those models will be 2015 now.

However, since the SUV is meant to be based on a model that finished pictures have been available of for some time (Cherokee) and the '169' is meant to be based on the Ghibli (itself now in production or very close to), I can't imagine them taking till 2015 for these Alfa models. Therefore I reckon we'll be getting a couple of new Alfa models next year, or at least one.

The only sticking point is that Fiat Group also have a 500X, tiny new Jeep and new Cherokee all scheduled for next year, plus the 4C just launching, so to add another 2 Alfa's to that list is quite a lot of new products in quick succession for them, and not something I've seen them pull off in their (at least recent) past. Might mean Alfa's keep slipping, but hopefully not.
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I haven't seen anything that suggests anything other than Guilia availability around late 2015/early 2016. I won't be in the market for a mid-sized Alfa by then so they lost a customer in 2011 by not having a logical successor to the 159. It would be a miracle if they pulled something out for 2014..... but who thought originally that they would pull off the 4c so quickly?
Autocar this week has some blurb about the Spider and suggests a price of around £30k (AutoExpress say £25k) and that it will be more luxurious and heavier than MX5. 1.4 and 1.75 engines for the Alfa version and release dates of 2015 for the Mazda and "up to a year later for the Alfa"
Elsewhere in the same magazine they vaguely confirm that the 4c may go topless as it is an easy adaptation and that there will be a Stradale and/or Green Cloverleaf version which will have more power from the same 1750TBi engine and no extra weight. The suggestion is that there will NOT be a V6 version as every component would need beefing up making development very costly and ending up with a totally different engineering concept. I think they are quite satisfied with their optimisation of the 4c design.
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It makes little sense though for Alfa to release the 4C under the premise of heralding a new dawn for Alfa of which many journalists have quoted only to then release new models 2-3 years after the event. Dawn must be taking a bloody long time to break!
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Originally Posted by leraunch View Post
It makes little sense though for Alfa to release the 4C under the premise of heralding a new dawn for Alfa of which many journalists have quoted only to then release new models 2-3 years after the event. Dawn must be taking a bloody long time to break!
To fill the gap there is supposed to be the Alfa Romeo SUV - a new direction if not exactly a new dawn.
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Had a very long chat with a very knowledgeable guy a few weeks ago, at a certain dealer in Blackburn, who says the Guilia will not be 2014, may not even be 2015, but should see the 169 (if that what it is to be called) in left hand drive Autumn 2014 with right hand drive very late 2014 or early 2015

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He could be right - if the 169 is going to be a budget, low-rent, version of the Maserati Ghibli then the platform is already in production. How well it will sell, and how much profit it will generate, is another matter however.
Giulia was needed in 2012 at the latest - not 2016.
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Well thanks for all the answers guys. I am quite surprised at how long the 156 replacement is taking. In my particular case, it's ok, since I will be shopping for something new at the end of 2016, so that looks good. But it's ridiculously overdue already!
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I doubt that the Giulia is FWD anymore. It would have been here by now or latest in 2014 if it was. So in a way it's probably good news that it's delayed. A FWD Giulia would not move the game on enough for Alfa. A RWD Giulia will be an occasion. It will stir real interest in the marque's return to form.
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The new Alfa models all hinge on the Fiat Chrysler merger being finalised. Until that happens it makes no sense to further tie up the alliance. The trust which owns the 40% of Chrysler and the judge involved in the case of a fair valuation price appear to be dragging their heels, and now with an IPO in the offing, it should come to a head. If Marchionne doesnt get what he wants then there will be trouble...
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The new Alfa models all hinge on the Fiat Chrysler merger being finalised. Until that happens it makes no sense to further tie up the alliance. The trust which owns the 40% of Chrysler and the judge involved in the case of a fair valuation price appear to be dragging their heels, and now with an IPO in the offing, it should come to a head. If Marchionne doesnt get what he wants then there will be trouble...
Agree with you,PR. The Chrysler/Fiat merger is the priority for Marchionne at the moment; the continuing uncertainty and consequent reluctance to commit serious investment is hurting both companies. Marchionnes' worst nightmare is that Fiat fail to acquire the remainder of the Chrysler shares and he is therefore unable to merge the two. If that happens (I don't think it will; he'll just have to pay more than he wanted to), we might as well kiss Alfa goodbye.

As for new models, I'm not expecting anything before the MX-5pider, which will be 2015 at the earliest, and most likely not in showrooms until 2016.

Earlier this year I had a very enlightening conversation with a well-respected Automotive Industry Analyst, who has spoken to Marchionne numerous times during the course of his work. I can't repeat a lot of what he said, but when I asked him about Marchionne and future Alfa models, in particular the Giulia, he said "He's got nothing; it's all smoke and mirrors".
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FoxtrotOscar - that sounds worrying doesn't it? But it would make sense.

Marchionne pursued the volume market with MiTo and Giulietta but it hasn't worked out and they haven't achieved anything like the volume he was touting a couple of years ago. Then the rumours that "all future Alfas will be RWD" when he had previously publically announced that Giulia would be on a widened and lengthened Giulietta platform (like the Dart and the Chinese FIAT), which was to be FWD or AWD - but not RWD alone. 169 has been on and off and the SUV programme is behind schedule. It is all a bit of a mess for Alfa and certainly the dealers are suffering because of a lack of new product to sell.

Makes you wonder if they still HAVE a strategic plan?
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Sad sight we saw in Italy this year just outside Monza, a very large Alfa Romeo dealership, all boarded up and deserted. RIP.
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Tbh, I'm not against Marchionne biding his time and not releasing an Alfa product until he's confident he can sell it.

And I say that as a past owner, who loves the marque, but was forced to look elsewhere due to a lack of suitable/desirable Alfas.

IMHO, Better to have a model/s that will be able to compete dynamically and financially in the marketplace, than to keep peddling, as Chris Harris described it, "horrible FWD sheds". (Bit harsh, I know)

The 4C for me was a giant step forward as to what Alfa can and should be aiming for with their new range.
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I tend to agree: there's no point in launching a "Me too" model. Giulia has to be demonstrably better than the competition just to stay in the game.

It's funny you mention Chris Harris, as he, or people like him, are part of the problem, and will be part of the solution. Basically, it won't matter a damn if Alfa produced the best-handlng executive car in the class (again, like they did with the 156) as long as they stay with FWD, because to a certain type of car fan, any Rear-wheel driven car is better than any Front-wheel driven car.

So, for Giulia to be seen as a "premium" car, it will need to be rear-driven, but that alone will give Alfa a significant marketing advantage over Audi, and put them firmly into the "driver's car" bracket. Add some typically Italian engines, and a good styling package, and there's only the reliability myth to overcome (not as big a deal as you'd think in the USA, where VW/Audi's reputation is dreadful).

The "Sheds" comment is garbage, though: the best cars in the Giulietta and Mito's classes are all front-wheel driven. It's the only sane way to make this kind of car (ask BMW).
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It's going to tough as long as VW have the resources to dump cars on the market
From Autocar this week"While it might not be the most satisfying engine to use in the Audi A3 hatchback, the 1.2-litre TFSI is still a capable unit. We found that engine in relatively standard SE trim A3 for £189.59 per month on a 36-month contract. There's an initial payment of £1706.31 and a mileage cap of 10,000, but if you want an economical hatch with badge appeal for as little as possible, this ........."
That's an £18.5 K car which nobody makes excuses for with the neighbours. Alfa cannot match that with the depreciation I'm paying for on my Giulietta .
I don't think the Giulia exists unfortunately but I'm sure if it did it would be lovely and have loads of people waiting til it is an ex-lease bargain. Oh , if only
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My experience of talking to Audi owners would suggest that they regularly have to make excuses to the neighbours: they're simply not that reliable. Good warranty cover, but lots of unplanned visits to the dealership too.

According to recent reports, VW are not making the savings they expected from their MQB architecture. That's going to mean more cost cutting out of the current models - and if you've seen under the bonnet of one, you'll really wonder where they can cut anything else. Between this and the deep discounting, I really wonder how long they can burn their cash on this kind of lark for, especially as flooding the market is the easiest way to kill your residuals. When something like 80% of their European sales are financed by Volkswagen Bank, this isn't going to be someone else's hot potato, it'll be their own.

I do think the Giulia exists, but it's not the car we were promised would arrive in 2012.
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